TOKYO, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Two Russian bombers allegedly entering Japanese airspace caused the Foreign Ministry here to lodge an official protest with Moscow at the Russian Embassy in Tokyo, local media reported Friday.
The incident involved two Russian TU-95 bombers briefly entering Japanese airspace near the southern island of Kyushu on Thursday, ministry officials said.
Japan scrambled two F-2 fighter jets to intercept the bombers and following radio warnings from the Japanese pilots, the Russian bombers left Japan's airspace after less than two minutes, defense and foreign ministry personnel said, according to the reports.
The incident came at a time when Tokyo and Moscow are at loggerheads over a group of disputed islands known as the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan.
The dispute over the islands has prevented the two countries from signing a peace treaty at the end of World War II.
In February, two Russian fighter jets alledgedly violated Japan 's airspace over its northern Hokkaido island, sparking harsh protests from the Japanese side.
Since then, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed in April to restart stalled talks on resolving the long-running territorial dispute.
Both Japan's defense and foreign ministry officials made no official comments as to why they thought the most recent violation occurred, although the Russian Defense Ministry said in an official statement that no infraction had occurred.
"Two TU-95MS strategic bombers conducted routine flights over the neutral waters in the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
"According to control equipment on board, state borders were not violated. The long-haul aircraft were accompanied by Japanese Air Force fighter jets throughout their flight over neutral waters, " the statement read.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich, speaking at a regular news conference, said he was unaware of the reports and would look into them.